How to Store Wine and Finding the right Wine Refrigerator

Are you starting to have a small collection of wines gathering on your countertop or taking over your fridge? Maybe like Miles in the movie Sideways you have a, “small collection in your closet.” Whatever it may be and maybe you don’t have a collection yet, but starting a wine collection is a rather fun process! And it’s quite important that you store wine properly because if you’re like me, you don’t have a wine cave and you’re on a budget.

Wine should be stored on its side, why? This really applies to wines with a natural cork. Corks dry out and leaving your bottles standing up quickens that process and leads to oxidation. Laying your bottles down keeps the cork intact with the juice, thus keeping some moisture on the cork. Wine is fickle and needs to be stored at proper temperatures, away from light and humidity in order to age properly. Think about the conditions of a wine cave at a winery, you want to try and get as close to those conditions at least in ways that you can control. Proper temps are 57 – 64 degrees. Wines age faster the warmer they are, so if you’re not ready to invest in a wine fridge, store them on a rack either in your basement away from light or in a closet. Not your garage because the temperatures fluctuate too much, and they’ll also be exposed to humidity (another no-no).

When buying wine from a retailer, you should first notice the temperature of their shop. If you don’t feel a chill walking into one, it’s likely not the shop you want to buy wines to lay down for a year or more. So stick to every-day, inexpensive drinking wines at those shops.

Ok, so lets say you’re not in the market yet for a wine fridge. What you should invest in are some racks, and these racks are great because they stack and you can buy more easily as your wine collection grows (click on the image to find out more). Plus, they’re cheap! And if you have a basement that stays cool, you won’t need a wine fridge. These are perfect.If you’re looking for something fancier for display in your dining room or a credenza, check this out. I have one I use for wines that we plan to drink within a few weeks in our dining room china cabinet.
So now let’s talk wine refrigerators, if you’re ready to get real with your juice. You can have anything from a small, 6-bottle cooler to obviously an entire basement you trick out to a cellar. Clearly the latter is more for the person with lots of loot, so I’m going to focus on those with budgets like myself. I’ve had my share of wine fridges in my lifetime, so for something on the small side, Igloo, Wine Enthusiast, and Vinotemp are all fine brands. I don’t think you need to spend hundreds of dollars on something so small, but if you have that kind of budget, then it’s time to invest in a fridge that will store more bottles. I have used Avanti (and wasn’t a fan) and now I have Allavino. Allavino is the last image on the pics below. You can see it’s the top seller and there are several reasons why. I love the racks and this style makes it very easy for storing lots of Burgundies and Champagne (or wines that are in larger shaped bottles). Wine Enthusiast also makes a fine quality wine fridge. Take into account that you will then need to decide if you want dual temperature zones, and if you want free-standing or one you can build into your kitchen or outdoor bbq. I am a huge fan of the dual temperature because I can always have a wine ready to go at proper drinking temperature! I also have two Allavino that are built-in, but currently using as free standing until I get my dream kitchen and outdoor bbq!!! A girl can dream, right?

Click on the images below for more info and comparisons and happy cellaring! Leave a comment below if you have any questions.

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